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Dad will not rise for pledge of allegiance

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One of the fathers from my son's Wolf Den continually fails to recite or even stand up during the pledge of allegiance, during den meetings.

Granted there are unfortunately many people in this country who do not respect the flag or the United States and who make a concerted effort to show their disdain by not rising for the pledge or the playing of the national anthem. Instilling a sense of patriotism and national pride, however, is one of the core principles of scouting so it is always extremely insulting to me when this particular dad sits down during the pledge. Has anyone else ever faced this same situation and what was done to resolve it? All answers appreciated.

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I have encountered religious organizations that do not allow their members to pledge allegiance to anything other than God. The members of such organizations can if they wish stand in respect and just forgo the pledge. The gentleman has chosen not to go this route of respect, which the flag in front of him that he refuses to acknowledge allows him to do. Remember, the son is a member of the organization not the dad. If the son refuses to pledge, then he is going to have a problem living by the Scout Oath. Work within the parameters of the program and ignore the disrespect.


If I walk into a synagogue, I thinking it's expected to remain covered, but in a church one removes cover. It's an issue of respect, not religion if I follow these customs, and I don't have to belong to either organization.


If any of the boys question this dad's actions, you may wish to do a SM minute on it.



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What a country! I'm a US Army vet, Eagle Scout, and all that kind of stuff that comes from being a 40 year Scouter and I'm happy that I live in a country that allows folks to dissent. The dad might not be a citizen but even if he was I respect his right to not make the pledge. I think that as long as the dad does not become rude during the pledge and shows respect to other folks beliefs we should respect his beliefs. I agree with some of the others that this could lead to some pretty serious discussions with the kids. They may be a bit too young to understand respecting those we disagree with but it might be worth a try. There are plenty of adults who don't understand.

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From Wikipedia:


West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943), was a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States that held that the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution protected students from being forced to salute the American flag and say the Pledge of Allegiance in school.


It was a significant court victory won by Jehovah's Witnesses, whose religion forbade them from saluting or pledging to symbols, including symbols of political institutions. However, the Court did not address the effect the compelled salutation and recital ruling had upon their particular religious beliefs, but instead ruled that the state did not have the power to compel speech in that manner for anyone.


scoutldr comment: That being said, I think that if the dad were a Jehovah's Witness, he would not allow his son to stand and pledge, either. I agree with the advise above...live and let live...if the scouts ask about, just be truthful and say "I don't know, why don't you ask him."

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I see two very applical responces here:


1) Often the parents see themselves as observers, not participants and don't realize that they should stand up.


2)The dad might not be a citizen but even if he was I respect his right to not make the pledge. I think that as long as the dad does not become rude during the pledge and shows respect to other folks beliefs we should respect his beliefs.


I see lots of parents who see all activities as "stuff the boys are doing" . They may see this as a case of it being for the boys, not the parents...in which case, no disrespect is intended.


On the other hand, that parent may just be a rude jerk who is too lazy. As long as he is not interuppting, mocking, preventing the scouts from doing the pledge..I see no issues.


And as much as we hate it, stupidity, arrogance, callousness and not respecting others , is protected by the very frredoms that flag stands for.


But now know this: The very moment that dad starts interupting, or tries to stop the pledge, I would escort him from the room!

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On another note though.... If the scout questions his responcibilty to stnd and recite the pledge, and tries to justify it under the "My dad doesn't do it" rule...

I would tell the dad it's time for a little side meeting. Time to tell Jr that : hey, this is a club you voluntarily joined. You signed up to be a member. This club has rulesand requirements. If you refuse to comply with basic found principles of scouting , you need to drop out.

Tell him you don;'t want that, and he doesn't either.

But the choice will be theirs!(This message has been edited by scoutfish)

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I'm not an American,I do however stand when the pledge of allegiance is being recited or when the American National Anthem is played.

I would expect anyone and everyone to show the same respect when God Save The Queen is played in the UK.


I would have a word with this fellow and ask if there is a reason why he is doing this?

I would point out that this really is not a good time or the place to be making some sort of statement, if that is what he is trying to do?

I also think I'd let him know that this is setting a bad example for the young men in the room and ask him to remain outside until the ceremonies are completed.

I'm sorry but I find this sort of thing to be just rude.



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For what it's worth, though it may not be germane to this discussion ... Scouting is open to both American citizens and non-citizens. We wouldn't expect a citizen of another country to recite our Pledge - which is, after all, a vow to our Republic - and thus can't expect every Scout or Scouter to do the same.

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